It has been difficult for Brandon Nimmo to enjoy his individual success amid the Mets’ struggles as a team this season, but the center fielder did find a brief moment to positively reflect.
When the Mets officially indicated that they would be sellers leading up to the trade deadline, when they shipped out closer David Robertson to the Marlins before moving starter Max Scherzer to the Rangers at the end of July, Nimmo was able to take a second and look back at his accomplishments on the 2023 season thus far.
“It gave me a little bit of time to reflect on that, and where I’ve been and where I’ve come from since the beginning of the season until now,” Nimmo told The Post before going 1-for-4 in the Mets’ 2-1 loss to the Rangers. “I think that if you wouldn’t have told me what our record was going to be, but you would have just told me like, ‘Hey, these are what your numbers will be at the end of July’ then I probably would’ve signed up for it. It does make it tough, but it is good that at the end of the season, and during that time, I did have a little bit of time to reflect on it.
“And be like, ‘OK, well, how can I be better for next year?’ Even if it’s not hitting more home runs or [for a] higher average or those kinds of things. How can I be a better leader? Or how can I help this team in where we fell short this year? And just try and reflect on those things as well. So it has been a give-and-take process.”
Entering Tuesday night’s game against the Rangers at Citi Field, Nimmo had a career high 19 home runs this season, in addition to owning a .259 batting average and .356 on-base percentage, after signing an eight-year contract worth $162 million last offseason that contains a no-trade clause.
Before the contest, it was team picture day for the Mets. Nimmo said Francisco Lindor asked him what number picture it was for him, and the 30-year-old was almost astonished to realize that it was his eighth.
To think that he has seven more after this, he said, his younger self would’ve been ecstatic.
Nimmo admitted that signing a contract of that magnitude last offseason motivated him coming into this campaign.
It’s manifested into one of his most successful seasons at the plate in his career.
He’s hit fewer ground balls. He’s shown a different kind of power in the box. He’s made effective adjustments to his swing.
“It also gives you a lot of comfort that who you are as a person, as a player, as a human being, they enjoy that,” Nimmo said of his new contract. “They want you around for a long time and they want you to be a mentor to those that are coming up. It gives you a lot of comfort in the fact that I get to be myself, but I can also take a few more chances and I can try and explore more of what I can get out of myself as well, which I’ve tried to do every year leading up to this year and will continue to do.”
Nimmo has tackled every weak point in his game since making his major league debut with the Mets in 2016. That’s just something about the Wyoming native, whose 53 RBIs this season are ranked third on the team behind only Pete Alonso and Lindor.
After the Mets wrap up their final 29 games, Nimmo plans to focus on base running, particularly stealing bases. Last week, Nimmo admitted that it was a weak point in his game, noting that it’s either “instinctive or bad luck.” He said he also plans to explore ways he can better the team as well.
He’s successfully stolen three bases so far this season, but has been caught three times as well.
“When you get into these roles, you need to be able to take those blinders off,” he said. “Focus more time on other guys and the younger guys and making sure that the team is cohesive and working together. I think that’s another thing I’ll be focusing on this offseason.”